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As the title states, may be this is a very basic question. In a SharePoint 2010 farm, the SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service is enabled for all servers in the farm by default. However, I would like to know if it is just enabled on the WFEs and disabled on all other application servers is it going to impact anything or does it have any severe implications.

I have a 2010 farm with two custom made workflows deployed. The topology is this along with the status of the workflow timer service:-

2 WFE -Service Started
1 Search - Query & Indexing - Service Stopped
1 Other Service Applications - Service Stopped

Please advise.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes it is required. The Workflow Timer Service is not just responsible for your List/Documents workflows, but also for a lot of other system related tasks. It should be started on all Sharepoint Servers including Web front ends and application, search servers. There is no harm in it running as well. If it's not busy, it wont consume resources.

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But is it a best practice or is it a requirement. Thanks for your help Fox. – Arko D Dec 20 '12 at 10:35
Always a good question when it comes to Sharepoint since there's alot of ambiguity in the msdn/technet articles about this kind of stuff. I wouldn't say it's a requirement because otherwise you wouldn't have the option to turn it off. I'd say its best practice. – Fox Dec 20 '12 at 10:38
Thanks a lot fox! Just what I needed. You are absolutely correct that if had it been a requirement the option to turn it off wont have been there. – Arko D Dec 20 '12 at 10:47
There is a MSDN article saying server running Web Application service must also have the Workflow Timer service on. Also in resolution section they recommand turn off the timer service.. I really doubt that. – Mark Apr 17 '15 at 4:29

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